Before Rebecca got pregnant, I often told people about the 5 year plan about having kids. I’d joke with just about everyone – when I was 23 years old, 25 years old and even at my current age of 28 years old – that we’ll have kids in 5 years. So it was no surprise that when we told our parents about the phantom baby, they all kind of looked at me and said, “what happened to the 5 year plan?”
It’s wasn’t so much that I wanted to wait 5 years to have kids, but I never felt ready to have kids of my own. I just didn’t feel like I was at that point of my life where I was comfortable and responsible enough saying I’m a father. Friends and family often told me I would never feel ready nor would ever really be ready – and I agreed (and still agree). But something changed when our little orange guy, Diggy, got diagnosed with cancer.
When we learned about Diggy’s situation, it immediately brought up old feelings about Sunny. Rebecca and I went through a crazy and scary experience with Sunny, our first orange fur-baby, and ultimately lost the battle with his illness.
And while the severeness of Diggy and Sunny were quite similar, our reactions were quite different because of timing. We had time to digest what was going on with Diggy. We had time to think of best – and worst – case scenarios for him. We didn’t have that with Sunny; he got sick too fast and while we tried everything imaginable to save him, it was ultimately too late.
With Diggy, however, we were able to determine to do X and if X didn’t work, we could try Y. And if Y couldn’t work, we’d venture into Z. And while Rebecca and I were extremely nervous and scared, you know what? We held it together. The both of us knew we were together in whatever decision we had to make; we knew each other would do everything possible for Diggy.
So while Diggy began chemotherapy and his future still extremely uncertain, something inside of me clicked. If I could hold it together while making uncertain decisions for Diggy, I began feeling that I could do the same with a baby.
Diggy is doing much better these days and his cancer is in remission. He’s gaining weight, adding muscle mass, purring again and playing almost non-stop with Macky. While I know his cancer might come back at any moment, I know we can handle it with the best of our abilities. It might not be easy for us, but I know we can do it.
And I know we can do the same with a non-furbaby.